Friday day was pretty simple for Jet and I. We had breakfast. We went to the library. We went to McDonald's and Jet played for three hours in the air conditioned tubes. At lunch time it was a zoo, but after 1 it slowed down enough that he just enjoyed himself. I read Abhorsen while sitting there. I'm debating about the Potter book, thinking it would be better to complete my set of U.K. published books with an order from Amazon.uk. But the American versions are HALF the money. Yeesh. I'll also say that I'm grateful that I'm not at all pressured by spoiler potential. It's how the story gets where it's going that gives me the greatest enjoyment. In fact, I'll often read the last chapter first just to get rid of NEEDING TO KNOW and then read the rest of it at my leisure.
Friday night we were invited to a little block party that friends of ours threw in a completely different part of town, so we didn't know anyone, but Jet was invited to be the four-year-old... uhm... watchdog? good influence? Uhm... something like that for another four and a half year old boy who had been known to get into trouble as quickly as possible. Jet only managed to get his nose smashed, trip over a few things, and get whacked in the head a few times by the other boy, but otherwise did just fine at moderating the destructive instincts of the other guy. And he did it all in good fun and in the hopes of having another friend. That worked out pretty well. Jet was pretty happy with being able to run around and play with someone his own age, capability, and stuff. He managed to look dubious enough at a few rather... uhm... unique ideas that they didn't get into any big trouble, together. So the original idea worked.
I had one stressed out encounter, and I don't doubt that the person that I was conversing with was as stressed as I was about it, in some ways. It was an ex-bike messenger, ex-Marine, present director of a halfway home in town, who is interested in doing the Peak to Peak ride with a hand bike. Yeah, he'd come in a wheelchair, and he and John and I had had a good conversation about a lot of stuff, and the household dog had come over to get some love and knocked the guy's sunglasses to the concrete, behind the front wheel, where he couldn't see it. I got up, hovered, but didn't actually reach for them as he struggled to get the glasses himself and he managed it after scratching them up severely. And I berated myself for not just asking nicely if I could get them for him. But... he'd also said, in part of the conversation, that he really liked doing things for himself. I was also mildly mad at myself for hovering and putting, possibly, more pressure on him or calling silent attention onto a clumsy moment for both of us. Blah. Anyway...
Made me realize he was probably as tense about it all as I was. Or less, maybe, as he's used to it, but still. People.
It's funny. I hate interacting socially with unknown people because I never know what to do, what's right, what's wrong, what they do or don't think is acceptable (on one side of the party was a lady ranting about how horrible it was that only three people had opposed a cel tower being erected in one part of town, while old hardware me with the lousy coverage in my corner of town is going, "ooo... maybe I'll get better coverage?") and I never know where the conversation is going to go or if I actually will entertain anyone... etc. It exhausts me.
John, on the other hand, loves interacting with people as there, in his view, no right or wrong way of doing anything, and you never know what people will love about a conversation and you never know where it's going to go. It delights him.
Uhm. If those two descriptions looked similar, it's cause they kinda are. :-)
I sometimes call myself a recovering perfectionist. "Hello. My name is Liralen and I'm a recovering Perfectionist. One Criticism, of self or other, is one too many."
We stayed up really late partying, taking care of babies and toddlers while they cleaned up after the party, and then dealing with the fact that Jet came home at nearly 10 after having eaten nothing because he was far more interested in everything else (sound familiar?). So we fed him, then tried to deal with pajamas and bedtime routine, and it was midnight before we laid our heads to rest. So the next morning was very rocky as everyone was cranky, grumpy, and Jet was especially contrary about everything until John got some breakfast into him.
I went to the OUR center and worked with three other people and we created sloppy Joes, sandwiches, green beans, drinks, and laid out fruit, cookies, and chips for 100. The serving and cleanup crew, nearly double in size, arrived at noon. John was part of that crew and brought Jet to do the hand-off. We had lunch, and then they opened up shop while Jet and I headed out to the van.
It as 100+, again, the last week was about that, and it was painful.
Jet scraped his leg on a curb on the way to the car, and it took me a while to get at the 1st aid kit to get him Band-Aids. Long enough for me to feel a bit faint as I hadn't drunk enough water while working in the hot kitchen. I finally got him settled, got into the van, got the A/C on and sat there for a bit, found the jug of water we keep for emergencies in the van, and gulped some of that, and then made it home.
I sat on the couch while Jet played trains, and I fell asleep and told him to wake me if he needed something important.
Of course he woke me up to build a track for him and to rescue an engine, but when I did that he left me alone and played.
John got home at 3ish, finding me half passed-out. I napped some more. Then finally got up with enough energy to do anything and made a fairly complex meal of grilled goat cheese wrapped in grape leaves, grilled Vidalia onions and red peppers, and chicken satay with a coconut milk peanut sauce. Quite good, and I felt better for eating something more... varied? than Sloppy Joes on white bread rolls with canned peaches and canned green beans. Still.... makes me wonder if I should do something really, really nice for 140 people at the OUR center some day or, more likely, if they're just happy enough to have anything to eat without it being fancy and fresh and costing ten times as much.
Jet passed out during the evening viewing of the 20th stage of Le Tour de France, so we just changed him and tucked him into bed. He slept from 8-8. And then we had a rushed morning getting in so that I could get to church on time to make coffee and iced tea and extra lemonade that got drunk much more quickly than the coffee. Whew. No snacks. But folks enjoyed the variety of drinks immensely.
From there we made a quick stop home, got socks, and then headed south. First to The Empress for a dim sum lunch. Yum! Then to REI to find me some shoes that wouldn't take my toes out again. The saleslady was very, very sympathetic at seeing my toes, and pointed out several brands that had a good, narrow foot bed. One really nice Vasque boot and one much lighter Merrell walking/trail shoe worked out very nicely on the test track. She said, honestly, that the REI staff would likely recommend the Vasque boot as they specialize in hiking gear, and Merrell does thousands of kinds of shoes. But she also said that she had a lot of customers walk out in Merrells because they're so darned comfortable. Both would wear well, and with the light hiking use I would put them to, both would last just as long.
I loved the no-nonsense protection of the Vasque's; but then I realized I'd probably be using them as Rec. Center shoes as well, as I don't have any other sneakers I'd be using there anyway... so I decided on the lighter, slightly more flexible Merrells.
Besides, Jet said that he wanted me to get the orange Merrells "because they're cooler!"
Home again, home again, and Jet fell asleep. I thought about a nap, but couldn't sleep, so I used the King Arthur "top cut hot dog bun pan" and tried to make top cut buns. I made the dough according to the recipe, but the dough was gloopy. Then I added enough flour to make it possible to even handle the stuff and it wasn't quite stiff, but...
Then Jet woke up, and I let the dough rise while we went swimming at the neighborhood pool, which was a cool 80 degrees (okay cool compared to 100 outside... it was a shock to the system, and Jet was shivering. He's used to about 85 or so). We swam until Jet couldn't take it anymore, and we went home. I punched down the dough (more like folded it down) and shaped it into buns with Jet's help, and then we all showered while the dough rose. Jet added a bath as well as half a bottle of liquid soap to his bath. Then we baked the buns when the thunderstorm finally broke and brought the ambient temps down to 75!! YAHOO!!
The oven temps were easy to handle with that break in the heat.
So I made some of the Krusteze mango bars as well. Like lemon bars but with mango puree. Yum.
The buns turned out. But I'll likely ignore the advise to lay a pan on top, and I'll let the tops dome properly and brown properly and let the "domed" bottoms just be the way they are. I think they made it wrong, all in all, as they really should have left it as a flat-bottomed pan and had people roll the ten rolls into cigars and let it just rise properly and do its own doming, rather than forcing a fit that doesn't look like a store-bought bun anyway. Bleh. Anyway... the pan doesn't work as well as advertised, and the bought buns in the pictures aren't what the pan can turn out. So I'm mildly unhappy that way, but the width is perfect, the height is just right for being able to tuck a hot dog or even a fat kielbasa in the thing, or filling it to overloading with lobster salad. Yum. So I'll likely keep using the pan.
The mango bars were great, too.
We had hot dogs, salad, and chips. Jet decided he just wanted one of the buns he'd made stuffed with Hairy Sprinkles (dried, pan fried, shredded pork), butter, and ketchup. He also wanted the "rainbow" vegetable-based chips instead of plain potato chips. Whatever Jet is he's not an ordinary eater.
So it was a great evening. The outside temp finally fell below 75, down to 68! and we used the house fan for all it was worth. I got bit by three mosquitoes coming in through unscreened windows (the painters had to have the screens off to paint and they're STILL not done, yet. Bleh), but it was worth it for the coolness.